Posts Tagged ‘Psalms’
“…Words work as stepping-stones through confusion to resolution.” — Marilyn Chandler McEntyre in Caring for Words in a Culture of Lies
This happens in ordinary conversation: I start my explanation with one set of words and end up in quite another place. Often the conversation takes me from confusion to resolution. But more often I come to the end of what I’d never planned on saying with a new insight or a new question that needs answering (if only in my own mind).
But Marilyn Chandler McEntyre was actually talking about the way prayer works in the above quote. She had been quoting a poem by Gerald Manly Hopkins. Here’s how she finished the quote:
“What begins as argument ends in an act of vulnerability and self-yielding. The words we encounter along the way [from GHM’s poem]—just, contend, plead, disappoint, friend—offer stopping points for reflection upon our paradoxical situation before God: familiar and strange, bound by law and freed by grace, fulfilling and frustrating, longing satisfied.”
I had not been familiar with Hopkins’ poem. But the words I encounter in the Psalms offer movement from argument to self-yielding with stopping points for reflection—and the entire Psalter functions like a bolus of spot-on conversation.